I know I’ve been MIA lately but that’s because the garden has been calling to me to prepare for the upcoming season. After having a couple of days of extreme lows we’re looking forward to a mild weekend with temps in the 60’s! Yippee!!!! You have to take advantage of nice days at this time of the year to do some yard work . Here’s what I’ve been up to in the past couple of days.
Now is the time to prune the Limelight Hydranga I have growing in my garden. This can be done in late fall or early spring since it blooms on new wood. I like to leave the dried blossoms on it through the winter for interest. First I clipped off all the old brown blossoms and then I trimmed it back removing any suckers and limbs that were rubbing against each other. It is very tolerant of a severe pruning. If you cut the plant back from 1/2 to 1/3 it will result in larger flowers in the summer. Last year I didn’t prune it back at all and it did great, this year I pruned it back by 1/3 to keep it between 6-7′ in height. The Mopheads and Lacecap Hydrangeas since they bloom on mainly old wood should be pruned right after they finish blooming in the spring and summer. I do cut any dead or winter damaged parts off in the spring however.
This was also a good time to start cutting back the numerous roses I have growing in my garden. The Knockouts can be cut back to 12-18″ from the ground. While the hybrids are trimmed into a vase shape removing old and crossing canes for better circulation and disease prevention. My climbing rose will be only have a slight trim to remove any dead or winter damage this spring. As you can see I still have one more Knockout Rose to cut back. They have some deadly thorns and tend to rip your hands and arms to arms up pretty good without heavy leather gloves. Of course I forgot to grab my gloves before tackling the others and have the battle wounds as a reminder for next time. 🙂
Here’s what left of the Purple Fountain Grass that was growing in the New Garden last season. It is considered an annual in my zone 7b garden. However when I was cutting it back to the ground I found some green bits so I might see if it comes back before removing the rootball. If not it can be easily found in the local garden centers come May and grows rapidly in one season. Leaving it up throughout the past few months did provide some winter interest in this new bed.
You can see the bare bones of SAC with it’s severe trim job now. If I didn’t keep this one in check it would be the only thing growing in this corner come next summer. It will continue to get some light haircuts right up until the end of June to keep it within the boundaries of my garden. Now all I have left to trimback is a couple more Knockout Roses (one is in my Grandma’s Garden bed) and the Butterfly Bush out front. What’s next? Well come the middle of March I will be raking out the leaves and putting down fresh mulch. Feels good to be back in the garden again!